By Darryl G. Smart
It’s the head-to-head battle Joanna Smith, Madie Erauw and their respective teammates were hoping for.
On Monday, the Holy Trinity Titans and Simcoe Sabres punched their tickets to the new Athletic Association of Brant Haldimand Norfolk District 9 senior girls basketball West Division final.
“We’re happy to be moving on,” the Sabres’ Erauw said. “We played well today. We worked on defensive rebounds and our offence today. It was a good game. Most of all, we’re happy to be playing Trinity again.”
In the Sabres semifinal, Emma Bradacs poured in 26 points, which included four from beyond the arc to lead her team to a 49-33 win over the Delhi Raiders.
Diana Patel scored 12, Natalie Suprun had five, Cayenne Allen four, and Keaira Muntz-Foerster netted two,
Ava Zurby led the Raiders with eight points while Mallory Whitehead had seven. Lyndsey Doan had five, Grace Rockefeller four, Addison Bartik three, with Veronica Abele and Mallory Farkas each scoring two,
For Erauw, getting to the West final is a big deal.
“I missed out on my senior year, so I came back,” Erauw said. “I play all of the school sports. It just feels great to be back playing.”
Smith shared that sentiment.
“Basketball is my favourite sport and I really want to make this count,” said Smith, who led the Titans with 16 points in their 38-21 win over the Valley Heights Bears. “It’s so great to be playing.
“At the beginning of the season we wanted to win this thing,” Smith said. “It feels good to win this one. I didn’t want to play my last game of the season. We just want to win.”
While Smith led the Titans, Charli Thornewell added 15, Jayden Smith and Sophia Bomberry each scored two, Emma-Jay Broer netted three, and Sophia Correia added one point.
Emma Dreiger led the Bears with nine points, while Hannah Bridges had five, Brooklyn Wilson netted four, Sarah Stewart scored three, with Ava Reimer and Elizabeth Reichen each adding one.
“We’re going to have to work hard,” Smith said. “We know they have a couple of really good players too. We beat them the first time we played and then they beat us. It’s going to be a good game.”
The senior girls West final is set for Wednesday at 4:30pm.
In the East Division semifinals at Hagersville Secondary School Monday, the Hagersville Hurricanes defeated the Dunnville Panthers 47-32, while the Cayuga Warriors beat the Waterford Wolves 47-38.
The Hurricanes and Warriors will battle for the East crown Wednesday at 4pm at Cayuga Secondary School.
In the four-team AABHN D9 loop, the Holy Trinity Titans and Delhi Raiders earned spots in the first ever junior girls basketball final.
In the opener Monday, the Titans used a balanced attack and dominated the Valley Heights Bears 44-13.
Katie Earle led the way with nine points while Rachael Rogers and Teagan Vanrooy each scored six. Rounding out the scorers were: Victoria Ostia-Estevez five, Gabby Moore four, Aaliyah Hoover four, Jillian Hurley two, Emersen McDowell two, Angelina Bobby two, Emma Thompson two and Parker Lennox two.
Ava Barham scored six for the Bears while Maddy Block had four and Emily Marlette added one.
The final game of the day was the tightest, as the Raiders held on for a thrilling 26-23 win over the Simcoe Sabres.
Eowynn Fowler led the way with nine points, while Addison Csont scored eight, Mel Steinhoff seven, and Cierra Bartik two.
Maeve Suprun led the Sabres with eight points while Emily Knowles netted six, Holly VanNetten had five, and Holly Lesage added four.
The AABHN D9 junior girls basketball final is 3pm Wednesday at Holy Trinity.